Spying on friends is not acceptable...
This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was outraged to learn that the U.S. was spying on her cell phone. But, she's not the only one who should be alarmed. The NSA has been snooping into the private phone conversations of at least 35 world leaders. A new classified document released by whistleblower Edward Snowden shows that the security agency pushed senior officials in the White House, State Department, and Pentagon to hand over their “rolodexes” containing contact information for foreign leaders. The document shows that one unnamed official handed over 200 phone numbers, which included dozens of world leaders, so that the National Security Agency could spy on them.
After the information became public, White House officials avoided discussing details of the program. Caitlin Hayden, the National Security Council spokeswoman, said, “The United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of Chancellor Merkel. Beyond that, I'm not in a position to comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity.” Ms. Hayden did not confirm or deny that the U.S. had been monitoring the Chancellor, or any other world leaders.
Of course, these revelations will have serious impacts on diplomatic relations with Germany and other countries. Already, details of the US spying has angered several nations, including Brazil and Mexico. And, that list is going to grow quickly in the wake of this new information. At a press conference in Brussels, Chancellor Merkel said, “Spying among friends is not at all acceptable against anyone, and that goes for every citizen in Germany.” That goes for every citizen, and every leader, in other nations as well.
chuckle8 ~ Thanks for the heads up on that article. For the benefit of anyone else who might want to read it here is the link.
I have to agree about many of these "miracle breakthroughs" that come out a little bit too soon. That is why I like to give people lots of time to try and test it before I dip my toes in the pool myself. This is why I take these natural medicines that are popular in older cultures so seriously. Something like Frankincense has been around centuries before Jesus Christ. The mere fact that it hasn't been proven 'scientifically' by our scientific community means nothing to me. It has been proven in a much more important laboratory--a laboratory with human subjects over centuries. One of the tremendous values of having an ancient culture is the medicines that they pass down. Trial and error with human guinea pigs over multiple generations can never be reproduced in any laboratory with rats. Therefore when a medical treatment is used by a medicine man from a country with an ancient culture is touted inferior to an experimental treatment that has been proven in a laboratory with rats and monkeys, and published in some scientific journal, I have to laugh at out societies tendency to chose the later. How religious is our faith in our scientific community.
A good friend of mine introduced me to a topical solution that was handed down in their family for generations that they call "Anika" It is a secret formula that supposedly came from the indigenous peoples of Mexico. I've never used any medicine that works better than this stuff. It cleans and disinfects wounds, reduces swelling, treats insect bites and stops itching. I've used it on sunburn, rashes, cuts, blisters, sprains, soar muscles, and once even treated a broken hand with it. I wish I could recommend a place people could buy it but it is custom made by the family only. I also have no idea what is in it; but, it know it works. Since my introduction to such remedies I don't take any culturally handed down remedies lightly. I've learned enough about the healing powers of natural remedies like frankincense, myrrh, garlic, ginger, and shiitake mushrooms to trust using them as preventive medicine in my daily routine. On the other hand, I am very apprehensive about anything labeled as a new "miracle breakthrough." Like wise, being approved by the FDA means almost nothing to me.
It is amazing how brainwashed we are in this country to believe and trust authority. Thanks for sharing that article with us chuckle8.
Chuckle8 & DAnneMarc: Thanks for that information and link. Very interesting! Unfortunately, such an article could possibly be ammunition to those who claim that the scientists are wrong about "global warming" or "climate change"...or other things. It seems we are living in a "wild wild west" of trickery and deceit just to get funding and/or a nice lofty sinecure position in corporate America. It's all just marketing flim-flam...snake oil salesmen that will do anything to get your money. They promise you longevity but they give you death but not before they drain you of everything in your bank accounts.
Palin -- I had the same fear. We just need solid science and someone to communicate it. I nominate Thom for the communication part.
Palindromedary and chuckle8 ~ I agree that it is most unfortunate that we live in a society that is so driven by the profit motive that almost everything we hear must be suspect and questioned. Equally unfortunate is that our governing body is so corrupt that not only does it fail to properly regulate the "free market," it also fails to properly regulate itself. It is time that we as a society seriously question our "for profit" "free market" system and realize that there simply must be a better way. Acceptance of the status quo has always been the major obstacle to progress. It is time we as a society use the evolved brain nature has given us--that has so majestically placed us on the top of the food chain--to identify the chief governing characteristics we need to adopt to guide our society into a truly functional, prosperous, healthy, and happy future; and, to use the means our evolved brain provides us to ensure that we make that paradigm a reality.
We really don't need to be too creative to do that. History is full of examples of such paradigms. In my opinion the key is the construct of our economic base. We need an agricultural base to replace our industrial base. Nothing progressive is going to be possible till that happens. Agricultural societies rely on production instead of profits, trade instead of marketing, necessity instead of excess. Prosperity is a direct result of a balanced ecosystem. All the ancient cures we have previously discussed have evolved out of agricultural societies. All of our most cherished laws, rights, norms, mores, and beliefs have evolved out of agricultural societies. Even our systems of government and justice was born and raised in an agricultural society. The only thing that has evolved out of industrial societies are greater pollution, crime, corruption, opulence, gluttony, greed, war, genocide, totalitarianism, fascism, and disease. Industrialization has converted each one of our consciousnesses from a group-focused consciousness to a self-focused consciousness. Our country has transformed from a "we" society to a "me" society. We don't need Nostradamus to tell us what is wrong with the world. If we simply learn the lessons of history the path to the future presents itself.
Hydroponics sounds like a good idea...you don't need soil or much land area. I watched a video of some guy in West Oakland who has created a business in hydroponics. He uses an Arduino microcontroller to monitor water flow, and pH levels, and it even tells him, via his iphone, the current state of the operation. All you need is a barrel of little fish to create the nutrients and a pvc piping system to distribute the water into beds of gravel...and in some cases he didn't even use gravel...just a flow of water beneath a styrofoam layer that had round cutouts for the planters.
I've seen other hydroponic systems that were vertical..made out of about 4" pvc pipes with notches cut out of the sides. Just do a search on YouTube for hydroponics and arduino for several ideas.
If you're stuck in a Gesellschaft situation, you can strive for a Gemeinschaft way of living even if you don't have a lot of land.
Palindromedary ~ Thanks so much for that advice. Hydroponics is lots of fun and a wonderful hobby. So is Arduino. I'll have to put that idea on the back burner though. Ever since you've introduced me to the Arduino micro-controller and it's abilities I'm afraid I have tied all my time and resources into merging it's potential capabilities with real doll technology. Of course the prototype is still a ways off. I still have much research and development ahead of me. Its very hard work. The results of my preliminary experiments have proven to be most promising. It's quite amazing the results that you get with a few motors and a couple of solenoids. I can't wait till the hydraulics can be incorporated. Oh well, its about time to play with Arduino and "hit the sack" so to speak. Good night! Sweet dreams all.
DAnneMarc: Real Doll/Arduino technology merged...what a great idea! Any negative feedback can be easily tuned out. Just have to keep those batteries charged. How about Solar powered RDA technology?
Palin and Dan -- You should read Michael Hiltzik's article in today's LA Times. It points out how the best scientific journals for medicine and health are more concerned with flashiness than truth. It is not that there is any deceit; just not a lot effort on verification. My takeaway is take everything written with a grain of salt.